The new online system, ProductRecallnz, has been developed by global supply-chain standards organisation GS1 NZ in conjunction with the New Zealand Food & Grocery Council (NZFGC), Foodstuffs, and Progressive Enterprises.
Launched on July 18, it has been trialed by Nestlé, Cadbury, DB Breweries, Fonterra Brands, Goodman Fielder, and Kimberly-Clark.
Katherine Rich, chief executive of the NZFGC, told FoodNavigator-Asia this builds on an existing food recall system that has worked well in the past.
“New Zealand has always had a clear process for undertaking food safety recalls within the food sector, overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture, now the Ministry for Primary Industries [MPI],” Rich said.
The existing system is a largely manual and lengthy process reliant on paper-based communication and emails and phone calls, she said.
“ProductRecallnz is a system which enables member companies to notify their trading partners faster and more accurately in the event of a recall. The more companies that join it, the more efficient and effective the system will be,” she said.
There are clear advantages in terms of speed and accuracy. “Where food is involved, safety is paramount, so it’s vital the process is fast and accurate,” she said.
Food safety recalls remain infrequent in New Zealand, Rich said, with around 40 between June 2010-11.
However, even with the best production systems in place, there are times when products need to be recalled, she said.